How many of us grew up with the rule that if you went into the sun, you wore sunscreen?
I know I sure as hell did, especially being a fare-skinned redhead with an over-protective mother who would not only lather me up with gobs of sunscreen, but would dress me in shirts and hats to boot.
I hate wearing sunscreen, and in this blog today, I'm going to share a quicky lil' secret that has transformed my life and my sunshine exposure forever, leaving me with a healthy glow from the sun's yummy healing benefits, without sunscreen and without sunburns!
When we hear that the sun is good for us, with its most popular claim to fame being a solid dose of vitamin D, I never questioned WHY we would use sunscreen, which is primarily used to protect us from the sun. How can we benefit from the sun when we're literally blocking its absorption with sunscreen?
It wasn't until I moved to Southern California that I dove into some research about the sun and when it's healing versus harmful.
Growing up in Boston, especially in the warmer summer months, I was not allowed out in the sun during its peak "hottest" hours, 11AM-3PM. My mom would tell me that's when the sun was strongest, so she had me avoid being outside at that time at all costs.
Back home, we only saw warm sunshine for about 3-4 months out of the entire year, so I only had to worry about sun exposure during that time (or so I thought). It wasn't until I moved to a climate that produced sunshine year-round that I began to understand it all, and man, what a discovery!
As I mentioned above, I HATE sunscreen. It makes me sticky, it never seems to properly rub in all the way, when I sweat it gets in my eyes, and nevermind it makes my face super oily and gross, it stains my clothes, my bathing suits, my hiking gear...it's just a mess! So once I discovered how to read and monitor the sun rays and when to take advantage of its glorious medicine, I felt like I had tapped into a secret that WAY more people needed to know about! And you want to know what the best part is: it's available to you right now, on your smartphone device or with a quick Google search.
So how do I enjoy all the benefits of the sun without sunscreen and without sunburns, you ask?
You may have heard of it, and it's called the UV index. The best part: it's on your smartphone's device 24/7, included in your phone's weather app. I own an iPhone, so this is where I can get my reading, updated throughout the day when the app is opened.
As you can see, in the right-hand column, 5 rows down is the UV index, registering at a 9. It's just about 12 noon here, so it's usually the time when the index is the highest.
So let me break this down, on how to read this and how to monitor your sun exposure for maximum benefits.
The UV index measures the sun's UV rays on a scale of 0-11 (or higher) for most areas. To enjoy the sun's benefits without worrying about sunburns or sunscreen, plan your sunshine therapy when the UV index is between 0-3 (you can try to go as high as 4, but every body is different and can only tolerate so much exposure before burning, so to be safe and learn your body's levels, stick with a max of 3).
Every region will be different as to WHEN this 0-3/4 UV index occurs, meaning, if you're in springtime versus wintertime, or if you're stormy and cloudy versus full sun and warm temps. So you'll have to stay on top of your own region, the season you're in, what the temperature is for that day, cloud coverage...all sorts of factors. Watch the patterns in weather, during the different seasons, and soon you'll begin to understand when those times are for maximum sun therapy with that magical UV index range.
If you want to get super on top of your sunshine therapy game, I have an app I highly recommend, called WillyWeather, that gives me a graph of the entire day, with the ability to look ahead into the week, giving accurate UV indexes.
This allows me to plan my day/week according to when I can be outside, enjoying the sun, and when to plan my afternoon siestas when the harmful rays are shining bright.
Here's what the app looks like, and for weather nerds like myself, this is one of my favorite tools for all things sun and sand (the app also gives you accurate tides, swells, winds, moon, rain, weather...such a useful app!)
PLEASE NOTE: I am not a doctor and I am speaking purely on my own personal experience and journey towards healing naturally with all-natural wellness practices. If you have any questions about your sun exposure, or have had any types of skin cancer, please make sure you consult with a doctor before trying homeopathic remedies mentioned here or in any of my other blogs.
Before I end this post on sunshine therapy, let's dive into some of the many beautiful benefits that come with sunshine exposure in the safe UV index ranges:
-healthy, all-natural doses of vitamin D
-heals skin disorders (that along with some saltwater aka the ocean!)
-improved brain function
-improved bone health
You can find me enjoying the sun in the early mornings, before 10 AM, and later in the afternoons, usually after 3:30/4. I plan my days around when I can absorb that delicious sunshine without lathering up on sunscreen, and utilize indoor time as much as possible during the peak hours of 10:30-3:30. An hour or so a day will do the trick, too, and yes, you can attain a gorgeous glow from the sun by following these tips.
Lastly, if I do have to go out in the sun during high UV index times, you better believe I have my sunscreen on (non-toxic, of course). To make your own non-toxic sunscreen, check out my recipe here...and if you accidentally get too much sun, check out my cooling and soothing non-toxic after-sun treatment here.
Now go grab some yummy sunshine and get that healthy glow up, without the worry of sunscreen or sunburns! Happy sunbeams, everyone!
Make sure to share pin this to your Pinterest boards...show the love, friends, because we have to let this secret out! In fact, share it with any of your social media platforms...more sunshine for EVERYONE!
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